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Challenging MonoHumanism: An Argument for Changing the Way We Think About Intercountry Adoption
UF Law Faculty Publications
  • Shani M. King, University of Florida Levin College of Law
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The Convention on the Rights of the Child' (CRC) provides a legal framework that establishes a child's right to be raised in the context of her family and her culture. We regularly violate this most fundamental right of children because we fail to come to terms with our imperialist orientation toward the world. This failure has been caused, in part, by how we have constructed our way of thinking about intercountry adoption. We now have a conception of intercountry adoption that I refer to in this Article as MonoHumanism. In the context of intercountry adoption, MonoHumanism means that children are not seen in the context of their family, community, and culture, but instead, narrowly as the potential children of Western adults. In other words, children are seen through a narrative of identity in the United States, which I am calling MonoHumanism, to the exclusion of knowledge and discourse with its origins in the lives, cultures, and vocabulary of the children themselves.
Citation Information
Shani M. King, Challenging Monohumanism: An Argument for Changing the Way We Think About Intercountry Adoption, 30 Mich. J. Int'l L. 413 (2009), available at